Ben Ross homers twice in Rafters win over Rockers

Big Ben Boost Rats to 10th Straight Win

GREEN BAY, Wis. – Rafters shortstop Ben Ross and company have the Rats rolling over anything and everything right now in the Northwoods League.  Wisconsin Rapids won their 10th straight ballgame tonight in Green Bay over the Rockers by a score of 10-8.

Ben Ross got started early with his career night, as in the second at-bat of the ball game he sent an opposite-field homer over the right-field fence to give the Rats a 1-0 lead.  That lead would not hold up long as the Rafters defense committed three errors in the bottom of the first, which led to two Rocker runs to give Green Bay a 2-1 lead.  After the Rats were held scoreless in the top of the second, the Rockers scored three more in the bottom of the second, including a two-run homer off the bat of Griffin Stevens to make it 5-1.

The Rafters would not be held scoreless long, as Ben Ross hit another homer in the top of the third.  This time, it was an inside-the-park two-run homer that drew the Rafters back within two to make it a 5-3 game.  Rafters starter, Nathan Hemmerling, finished his night by hanging up a Rockers zero in the bottom half of the third.  The Rats bats continued to stay hot, as they scored five more in the top of the fourth.  Stone Miyao’s first hit as a Rafter was an RBI single, then back-to-back two-run hits from Tommy Barth, and the man of the night, Ben Ross, gave the Rafters an 8-5 lead.

Rafters reliever Grant Manning came on in the fourth and pitched miraculous baseball for Wisconsin Rapids.  He only gave up two Rocker runs across four innings while striking seven along the way and receiving the win.  Rafters added on more in the sixth to make it 9-7.  The Rockers added another in the eighth to make it 9-8, but the Rafters were able to get that run right back from a Jacob Igawa solo bomb in the top of the ninth.  Josh Howitt got the hold in the eighth, and Preston Howey shut the door and got his third save of the year in the bottom of the ninth.  Tommy Barth also had an incredible game going 4-for-5 with a double and two RBI. Ben Ross finished the night 3-for-5 with two homers and five RBI.

The Rafters will be in Green Bay again tomorrow night to face off against the Rockers at 6:35 pm.  Catch the game with Brett Loftis on WFHR 1320 AM/97.5 FM, as the pregame show will begin at 6:20 pm.

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The Wisconsin Rapids Rafters are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. The Northwoods League is the proven leader in the development of elite college baseball players. Having completed its’ 28th season, the Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 22 teams, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind. A valuable training ground for coaches, umpires, and front office staff, over 280 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including three-time All-Star and 2016 Roberto Clemente Award winner Curtis Granderson, three-time Cy Young Award winner and World Series Champion Max Scherzer (NYM), two-time World Series Champions Ben Zobrist and Brandon Crawford (SFG) and World Series Champion Chris Sale (BOS). As well as 2019 Rookie of the Year and 2019/2021 Home Run Derby Champion Pete Alonso (NYM) and 2021 All-Star, MLB Gold Glove winner and 2019 Second Team All-MLB shortstop Marcus Semien (TEX). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League website. League games are viewable live at watchnwl.com. For more information, visit www.raftersbaseball.com or download the new Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play and set the Rafters as your favorite team.

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David Keech
Author: David Keech

David Keech is a math teacher in Wisconsin Rapids and public address announcer for Abbotsord High School. He officiates basketball, baseball, and softball in central Wisconsin. He has reported on amateur sports since 2011, known as 'KeechDaVoice.' David can be reached at [email protected]